Growing Deep

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 1.40.59 PM.png

Are all mesophotic reefs the same? We know they're not, but can we zero in on the reasons some mesophotic reefs are chock full of coral and fish, while others aren't? Led by Sarah Groves, now a NOAA affiliate, this study published in Coral Reefs used Computed Tomography (CT) to evaluate the growth of mesophotic corals on different mesophotic reefs in the US Virgin Islands. The moral of the story? We can't claim that the corals on vibrant mesophotic reefs grow any faster than those on less developed mesophotic reefs, so differences in community structure or abundance may relate more to antecedent geology, or larval supply, among other potential factors.

Daniel Holstein